Earth science and engineering degrees nurturing a new generation of environmental heroes

Earth science and engineering degrees nurturing a new generation of environmental heroes
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Today, urgent and inventive responses are demanded to tackle pressing environmental hurdles. The World Health Organisation confirms this, predicting that between 2030 and 2050, climate change could lead to an extra 250,000 deaths annually from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea, and heat stress. Hence why countless universities are working toward producing a new generation of skilled professionals prepared to diminish these statistics.

The result of their efforts is earth science and engineering programmes that can shape policies, propel technological progress and sketch the blueprints of a sustainable tomorrow. By bridging the gap between scientific know-how and real-world application, these qualifications churn out problem solvers who not only understand the nuances of environmental problems but also have the ability to craft ingenious solutions. 

If that’s the kind of education you’re seeking, uncover how these three universities are helping tomorrow’s world-changers fulfill their responsibilities as residents of Earth. 

Earth science degrees

Top-ranked Earth Science programmes blend technology and science to tackle global challenges, fostering industry connections for student success. Source: Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a global top 10 university with a world-class reputation for excellence in teaching and research. In 2022, it was named  “University of the Year” by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide — a testament to how it has delivered a transformative educational and student experience during the Covid crisis and afterwards.

In the Times and Sunday Times World University Rankings 2022, the Department of Earth Science and Engineering ranked second in the UK for Geology — further proof of the rigour, strength and impact of Imperial’s programmes. While these accolades are impressive, students are drawn to Imperial because of their passion for helping the planet and battling environmental problems. Its range of MSc courses is ideal for those who dream of developing skills in coding and big data to solve the Earth’s greatest challenges. Our programmes are unique in that they pair a rigorous foundation in computer science, data science and machine learning with scientific applications, centred on earth sciences.

The quality of Imperial’s degrees in this field is boosted by strong industry links and scholarships for exceptional students, including scholarships for women students.  Our industry links ensure that the curriculum is kept up-to-date, while giving students the opportunity to undertake independent projects with companies and external organisations. We have strong relationships with major energy, insurance and software companies, such as TotalEnergies, RMS Insurance and Microsoft. Students can network and build relationships during their summer internships and work towards securing a position after their degree is complete.

Earth science degrees

ETH Zürich’s Department of Environmental Systems Science focuses on analysing environmental systems. Source: ETH Zürich

ETH Zürich

Ranked sixth in the world, ETH Zürich is home to several interdisciplinary courses designed to solve contemporary world issues. This relevant focus, plus the school’s scenic views of the Alps, are just some of the reasons why over 23,000 highly talented learners representing 121 countries are already here. 

A handful can be found in the university’s Department of Environmental Systems Science, which focuses on analysing environmental systems and their relevance to society, as well as training future generations of scientists and decision-makers. Environmental and Agricultural Sciences programmes are offered at both an undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

Regarding research, this department focuses on five areas: climate change, food security, sustainable resource use, biological diversity and adaptation and ecosystem processes and services — each of which tackles environmental challenges head on. For instance, the department is improving our understanding of the climate system and exploring improved methods of predicting its development — considering the physical, chemical and biological processes occurring in the atmosphere, oceans, on land and ice sheets. 

Investigating food security, researchers are gaining a better understanding of agroecosystems and improving how food is produced; thus, enabling food production to be intensified sustainably. In each of the five research specialities, students embark on an in-depth journey of discovery that will ultimately better our world.

Earth science degrees

UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering is ranked among the top three engineering schools in the world. Source: University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

The College of Engineering at UC Berkeley is ranked among the top three engineering schools in the world. Dynamic, interdisciplinary and hands-on, programmes here challenge conventional thinking and emphasise creativity and imagination. Most importantly, the college houses a strong community of researchers, students and faculty members united by their urge to change the world.

At the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, students explore cutting-edge research finding engineering solutions for global environmental challenges. Each state-of-the-art space allows researchers to introduce new theories and improve understanding in an experiential manner while providing students with the updated tools and techniques needed for solving current problems.

With some of the best laboratories for teaching and research in the US, and a location in the San Francisco Bay Area, to study here is to have numerous exposure to engineering projects as well as professional opportunities.

One in every four undergrads in this department progress to graduate school – making it one of the highest percentages in the College of Engineering. Others progress into a myriad of career opportunities, thanks to their skill set gained here to address the many pressing needs to improve and expand the infrastructure and protect the environment.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International